updated - May 25, 2013 Saturday EDT
Heartland Food Corp., the second-largest Burger King franchise in the world, has acquired 121 Burger King locations from Burger King Corporate.
"We're very excited to get back to the franchise roots," said Chris Ondrula, president and CEO of Illinois-based Heartland Food. The terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Of the 121 Burger Kings now under its wings, 51 are located in Omaha, Neb., 43 are in Chicago and 27 located in the Nashville market.
The newly acquired Burger King locations closed overnight for software changes and were to reopen this morning. Terms of the acquisition include restaurant remodels, which will be completed within the next four years. Financial details were not disclosed.
This move comes nearly three months after Burger King sold 278 restaurants to Carrols Restaurant Group Inc.
This is Heartland Food's first venture into Nebraska and Iowa. The change of ownership will affect about 1,300 employees. Ondrula called the employees great and said he expected "a long tenure and many successes in Iowa and Omaha."
Heartland Food now is the franchisee for 415 Burger King restaurants. The company, which owns only Burger Kings, already owns locations in Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, as well as Toronto and Ottawa in Canada.
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